I’m sitting in bed typing this and Lily is reading a Chinese newspaper she picked up after dim sum with The Girl this morning. She wants to keep those language skills alive. Tomorrow morning I’ll read this one last time and then press “Publish”.
It will be July 16th, 2014 and I’ll have been married for twenty years. I’ve been with her for more than half of my life. Memory works by association and I remember all of those years from when I first met her.
It’s easy for me to remember. A smell, a word, a sound and I can associate it with something involving her.
I can do the same thing from before we met but those memories are strange.
I remember my family. I remember school. I remember summers upstate for weeks running around in just shorts and nothing else. Shoes at home will always be optional for me because of that.
She’s there in those memories but she’s not. It’s like she’s off stage and just hasn’t stepped into the scene.
I’m learning how to swim in a lake and she’s just out of sight at the shore. I’m coming back from the grocery store for my mother carrying 2 big brown bags full of food and she’s just around the corner. I am speaking with my grandmother and she’s there listening to every word. I’m learning that I have some of my other grandmother’s gift with animals and she’s nearby but she doesn’t like dogs. I’m climbing a tree and she’s waiting for me to come down. I’m in high school and my grandmother is gone. She’s reaching out to me waiting to hug me.
She’s there and I can’t explain it. It feels like I’ve known her, wept with her, lived with her and loved it all my whole life.
We’re meeting for the first time. I’m nervous and I don’t know what to do or say. My friend introduced us. I don’t know how I have the confidence to speak with her and I’m speaking too much. I’m meeting her family for the first time and working hard to impress them. I’m holding her hand. She’s meeting my family. We’re starting our own family. We’re doing things together, big things. It’s all so easy saving, planning, doing it all with her.
She’s reading this. She’s here. She’s with me.